Posted: 19.03.2024 10:13:00

Interfaith peace is Belarus’ main achievement

The state and the Orthodox Church have many points of contact — the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, stressed that at a meeting with the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church on March 14th


Upon arrival at the Minsk Diocesan Administration, Aleksandr Lukashenko, together with Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl, visited the Cathedral of All Belarusian Saints to light a candle.
Metropolitan Veniamin invited the Head of State to the library, where various rare books are kept. Then the President visited the office where Metropolitan Filaret, the Honorary Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, worked.
“Our country has laid solid foundations for co-operation between the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the state.
It could not be otherwise. The history of Orthodoxy in the Belarusian lands is inextricably linked with the history
of the formation of our statehood,” the President of Belarus noted at a meeting with the Synod. 

The Belarusian leader drew attention to the fact that the arena of military conflicts unfolded more than once here at
the junction of civilisations. In such conditions, it was extremely difficult for a nation to form and declare itself, not to mention to create a state. “Belarusians succeeded in doing that — largely due to the spiritual core of our ancestors. Therefore, the state and the Orthodox Church have many points of contact,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised.
The President noted with regret that the Orthodoxy around the world is going through difficult times now, “It hurts to look at the religious confrontation ongoing in our fraternal Ukraine, with the seizure of churches, criminal prosecution
of the clergy and struggle for the main shrine of our Orthodoxy — the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. A tragedy is also unfolding in the Holy Land, which has a sacred significance for all world religions. Unfortunately, we see attempts to drag as many countries and peoples as possible into this conflict.”
The Head of State pointed out that the peculiarity of Belarus is that the control centres of traditional confessions are located outside the country. “As we can see today, a number of countries have found themselves in the epicentre of armed conflicts,” the President noted. 
“All the bloodiest wars in the world started with religious disagreements. This religious card is still played by ideologists of colour revolutions and riots. In such circumstances, it is important to preserve equal rights and maintain a dialogue between representatives of all faiths,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised. 
The Head of State highlighted that the difficult foreign policy context, fortunately, did not affect the traditions of good neighbourliness and religious tolerance of Belarusians. Thus, ethnic and confessional relations in our country are characterised by stability and steadiness.
Along with that, Belarusian society is experiencing unprecedented pressure at the level of ideas and values, according to the President. “On the one hand, this is due to the unprecedented pace of technology development — the introduction of artificial intelligence, modern means of communication, and more,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained.
“On the other hand, the ideas of permissiveness, consumerism, childlessness, LGBT and others — deliberately destructive and harmful for society and the state — are being imposed on us. Society does not have time to develop generally accepted norms of behaviour, making it more difficult for people to make the right moral choice. 
The Church expects people to come to God on their own initiative. However, I think that this is a reciprocal process,
and the Church should take a step towards common people. It is important to learn to preach the Word of God in such
a way so that it is understandable to everyone. Society has expressed its demand for the living, effective word of the preacher.”  
The President also added, “We remember how in 2020 some priests, including, unfortunately, some Orthodox ones, got involved in politics. I will say that the state has special institutions and trained people for this purpose. The task of the Church is to set moral Christian guidelines.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko urged the clergy to have a thorough and frank conversation. During the event, Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, pointed out, “A lot has been done in our country to counter various negative phenomena.”
He thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for his attention to the position of the Belarusian Orthodox Church on the issue of enshrining provisions on the spiritual foundations of our society in the Basic Law of the country, as well as for the invitation to participate in the discussion of the draft National Security Concept.”  
The Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl emphasised, “Confrontation in the spiritual sphere is a struggle on an invisible front, where we are offered ideas, the essence of which is often hidden under external attractiveness,
and even the pious guise. Their true nature is often recognised only when their fruits appear — unfavourable for society.” 

Metropolitan Veniamin noted that the focus of settling the problems faced by humanity is shifting to the spiritual sphere. “When finalising the National Security Concept, I ask you to once again pay attention to the spiritual sphere of our society so as to protect it from emerging threats. After all, it is necessary to act proactively in this regard,” said the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus. 

Based on materials of and